Doctor’s warning over rise in ‘Jolie cancer operations’
SURGEONS are encouraging women with breast cancer to have double mastectomies that do little or nothing to improve survival chances, a leading doctor in the UK has warned.
Dr Fiona MacNeill, a surgeon at London’s Royal Marsden Hospital, said medics were ‘‘driving the removal’’ of the second — healthy — breast sometimes just to give patients ‘‘peace of mind’’.
The warning comes after a US study showed the opinion of a patient’s surgeon has a strong effect on whether she has a double mastectomy after being diagnosed with cancer in a single breast. Dr MacNeill said previous research has shown that, for women diagnosed with cancer in one breast, a double mastectomy ‘‘does not significantly reduce risk or improve survival’’. The number of double mastectomies carried out in Britain has surged since actress Angelina Jolie had the procedure in 2013. Health figures show a leap from 234 in 2010 to 484 in 2016.
Jolie (inset) had the operation to stop cancer developing.